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War Graves

Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has (a) had and (b) plans to have with the French Government to prevent the disturbance of British war graves in the expansion of the Amiens to Lille motorway; and if he will make a statement. (109878)

There have been no discussions between the Ministry of Defence and the French Government on this project. The UK Government take a very close interest in the management of the nation's war graves but, along with other member Governments, are represented in these matters by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).

Although the final route for the Amiens-Lille motorway has yet to be chosen, the French authorities continue fully to consult the CWGC over the proposals and have recently repeated their assurance that no Commonwealth war cemetery will be affected by the development.

The French authorities are also fully aware that the discovery of any remains of British and Commonwealth Service personnel are to be immediately reported to the CWGC and the local police and of the need to protect them and any associated artefacts and personal effects for possible identification and re-burial.